Worker-Friendly Data Centers or 'We've Been there and done that?'

Posted by Mark Teter, Chief Technology Officer
April 17, 2013

Did you catch Rich Miller’s blog, The Rise of the Worker-Friendly Data Center, over at Data Center Knowledge? The first photo showed a spiral slide from what looks like a gym to what appears to be a rock-wall room in CyrusOne’s new data center in Dallas—designed to help employees be more productive and unwind a bit.

Rich’s blog goes on to detail some of the amenities in other ‘worker-friendly’ data centers…

+ At Vantage Data Centers, office space and other customer amenities account for about about 20 percent of the space in its new 60,000 square-foot facility in Santa Clara, Calif. In addition to two 20,000 square foot (3 megawatt) data halls, the building includes 12,000 square feet of conference rooms, kitchenettes, locker rooms with showers and Class A office space.


+ The hallways of the RagingWire Enterprise facility in Ashburn, Virginia, are lined with original artwork, including some pieces created by RagingWire staffer Julie Bjorgum from recycled materials from the construction of the facility. The data center also features abundant office space and conference rooms, as well as a colorful break area and dining space, and a separate area for gaming and video.


+ The SuperNAP in Las Vegas also features many visual flourishes usually seen in enterprise office space and includes a plush theater that is available for customer events.


+ IO has nearly 80,000 square feet of office space at its huge IO Phoenix data center, which also includes meeting rooms and several amphitheaters.

Locker rooms, showers, original artwork, gaming, videos, plush theaters, and several amphitheaters? This reminds me of the DotCom technology boom in the mid-nineties, when massage rooms and gaming centers invaded offices from coast to coast in an effort to differentiate and attract workers. If data centers have become commodities, then attractions like this may matter, but I don’t believe we’re there yet, nor will we be for quite some time.

If customers are choosing data centers because of these attractions, they may not be employing the best buying criteria. Data security, use of virtualization technology and cloud computing solutions, and tackling data center convergence should be what buyers seek. A data center that focuses on providing the very best-in-class technology will ultimately provide the best customer experience.

What do you look for in a data center? And which do you prefer—a plush movie theater or uptime and data security?

About Mark Teter Before he retired from ASG in 2013, Mark Teter was Chief Technology Officer (CTO) and the author of 'Paradigm Shift: Seven Keys of Highly successful Linux and Open Source Adoptions.' As CTO, Mark regularly advised IT organizations, vendors, and government agencies, and he frequently conducted seminars and training programs.

Filed Under: Data Center

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